This post is triggered by a sad event, the death of seven month old child of our gardener. What was more painful for us was that the death was caused by 'Simple Diarrhea', which is something which is not unmanageable.
But the fact of the matter is that the 'Simple Diarrhea' is the second leading killer of children in the world. Just to emphasize the impact of these so called simple preventable diseases,
With over 240 million children under the age of five, India contributes 25 percent of the world’s child deaths….. It is believed that easy measures could prevent 90% of diarrhea deaths, 62% of pneumonia deaths, 100% measles deaths 92% malaria deaths, 44% HIV/AIDS deaths and 52% neonatal fatalities. For example, Simple measures like exclusive breastfeeding for six months can prevent child deaths by a good 16%.......(Unicief India)
And, the task itself is very simple, communication, when I hear about diarrhea the first thing which comes to my mind is the communication which used to aired by Doordarshan on what needs to be done, the simple things like giving the child water and salt combination, or tender coconut water and so on. I fear that that kind of communication has been lost in the deluge of channels and programmes these days. For people interested in knowing more about prevention of diarrhea should visit, http://rehydrate.org/
In the book The Checklist Manifesto, author Atul Gawande explains how following simple steps or checlists can in a host of issues rirght from handling an aircraft in the event of an emergenecy to help bring down infection levels in Hospitals. The more interesting study which he quotes in the book is the role of simple hand washing with soap in Karachi slums leading to a 52 percent drop in the incidence of diarrhea, 48% fall in cases of pneumonia...and when others things remained more or less same.
I am sharing these thoughts here as I feel that the domain of marketers in India in much wider than any other place , as it includes rural India and the huge number of urban poor and we can do a lot by simply improving communication and helping bring in social change....